Federal government argues it cannot be sued in federal court for a violation of the Fifth Amendment

July 16, 2015 | By JOHN GROEN

In Brott et. al. v. United States, a group of Michigan property owners have brought suit against the United States for a violation of their rights under the Fifth Amendment. They contend that the federal “rails to trails” program has resulted in a taking of their private property without payment of just compensation. But this … ...


Can Congress deem someone injured?

July 07, 2015 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Article III of the United States Constitution allows federal courts to hear only “cases or controversies,” defined as cases brought by plaintiffs who have suffered actual (not speculative) harm that can be redressed by court action. What if a plaintiff’s asserted injury, however, is nothing more than that the defendant violated a ...


Supreme Court grants important “standing” case

April 27, 2015 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Thomas Robins, an unemployed man, sued Spokeo Inc., which runs a website that collects and publishes consumer “credit estimates,” for willful violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), because it published false information, such as Robins was married, had a graduate degree, and was wealthy.  Publication of any false informati ...


Can just anyone bring a class action on behalf of others?

December 23, 2013 | By ANASTASIA BODEN

Florence Pacleb sued Allstate Insurance for calling him on his cellphone in violation of anti-solitication laws.  Allstate offered to pay the damages Pacleb demanded and his attorney’s fees.  Most courts hold that once a defendant offers to fully satisfy a plaintiff’s claims, the plaintiff’s claims become moot, meaning that t ...


The other mistake the Supreme Court made yesterday

June 29, 2012 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Largely lost in the hullaballoo yesterday, the Supreme Court dismissed First American v. Edwards as “improvidently granted.”  It did not give any reasons for the dismissal. This case asked whether a plaintiff who suffered no injury whatsoever from a defendant’s technical violation of statute could pursue a class action in federal ...